An interesting article by David Kirschner PhD (September 10, 2014) raises the spectre that many of us have been thinking - Are the mass murders that seem to be occurring more frequently in the US linked to medications?
He suggests it is in this opinion piece in the National Psychologist article. Some quotes from the article show his concern...
“As a forensic psychologist, I have tested/evaluated 30 teenage and young adult murderers, and almost all of them had been in some kind of ‘treatment,’ usually short term and psychoactive drug-oriented, before they killed.”
“After each episode of school killings or other mass shootings, such as the Aurora, Colo., Batman movie murders and Tucson, Ariz., killing of six and wounding of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others, there is a renewed public outcry for early identification and treatment of youths at risk for violence.
Sadly however, most of the young people who kill had been in ‘treatment,’ prior to the violence, albeit with less than successful results.”
“Most of the young murderers I have personally examined had…been in ‘treatment’ and were using prescribed stimulant/amphetamine type drugs before and during the killing events. These medications did not prevent but instead contributed to the violence by disinhibiting normal, frontal cortex control mechanisms.”
“Prior to the violent event, for which he is currently serving a life without parole sentence, Jeremy [Strolmeyer], an honor student with no history of violence, was misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and ‘treated’ with nothing more than a bottle of Dexedrine following a brief 20-minute ‘cost-effective’ psychiatric consultation.”
“And so, despite ongoing congressional debates regarding stricter gun control laws vs. improved access to mental health treatment, our concern should be about the quality of mental health care, not just a societal safety net insuring treatment for all children and young adults. Almost all of them are covered by some type of managed care or insurance company, and the issue is not access to preventive treatment. The real problem, in my opinion, is the quality and competence of therapy for potential violent offenders when insurance companies are the gatekeepers.”
I would suggest we can take it further and wonder if the murders that occur, when no one can explain the sudden change of behaviour of the father who loved his children, are also linked to antidepressant medication?
This is not as far-fetched as recent experience has shown me that a few medications mixed together can completely change the character of a person. One minute individuals are normal and then 30 minutes or less later totally paranoid. Add in a bit of alcohol and we end up with a toxic cocktail and altered mind states that no one seems to be able to explain. Unfortunately, this does not get reported in the mainstream media nor does anybody seem to be collecting information on it.
While antidepressants come with warning about suicidal tendencies and changed moods perhaps we should look deeper into these drugs. This problem is further highlighted by the over use of these drugs that in most cases are not effective. The work by Professor Irving Kirsh when he published his research back in 2009 under the title of “The Emperors new drug” showed that these antidepressant drugs were no more effective than a placebo. This research has now been duplicated many times yet these drugs are the mainstay of treatment for psychological and emotional conditions. Other research out of the US shows that around 87% of people who are prescribed antidepressants don’t even have depression. It is no different here in Australia and I have met dozens of people who are prescribed these drugs for trivial reasons including fatigue.
It is time we raised more questions about the use of these drugs and looked at changes in diet, lifestyle, environment and attitude that have been shown to be more effective and with only positive side effects.